Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Journal Six: Alexis Hensel

Part One: Out of all of the characters in Hiroshima, Mr. Tanimoto has been the most interesting, at least to me personally. The fact that he feels guilt for not being injured himself speaks for itself. He has no control of what has happened, but decides to help in any way that he can in order to make up for his lack of injury, which stood out to me. Because he was one of the few that came out of this tragedy uninjured, he feels as if it is his duty to help and decides to take trip after trip by boat, taking the injured to get help. However, even though he helped a tremendous amount of people, he was still not satisfied. A large amount of people that he pulled ashore, he later found out had not survived, so this resulted in guilt. The scene is set when Hershey describes Mr. Tanimoto's view explaining that, "When he awoke, in the first light of dawn he looked across the river and saw that he had not carried the festered, limp bodies high enough on the sandpit the night before. The tide had risen above where he had put them; they had not had the strength to move; they must have drowned. He saw a number of bodies floating in the river." Mr. Tanimoto's acts of compassion towards the people of Hiroshima shows his character and kind heart. By observing his behavior that has resulted from the attack, we can learn that the people attacked are confused and helpless. They do not know what had just happened, and, in result, are acting out in ways that are natural to them. By being a reverend, he is always serving people, and this event was no exception.

Part Two: Survivor's guilt was a topic that I was curious to learn more about after reading Mr. Tanimoto's experience. As a person is enduring a tragic event the body's natural response is often to save themselves, and only themselves. However, after the tragic event has passed, the loss of loved ones, even strangers can bring on a lot of emotion. They begin to wonder about what they could have done differently in order to save others. This immense amount of guilt can lead to self-harm, suicide, and other harmful acts, as a way to cope. However, the best form of treatment for survivor's guilt is said to be professional therapy and volunteering to help others in events now, in order to move on from the past. As we continue reading Hiroshima, I am curious to see if the other characters feel any sort of  guilt for their survival. If so, how did they deal with it?

Recent picture of Hiroshima survivors

Photo: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/05/27/national/still-hate-glow-setting-sun-hiroshima-survivors-tales/#.WBloNjKZM0o

Information on survivor's guilt: http://www.giftfromwithin.org/html/Guilt-Following-Traumatic-Events.html


  1. I like how you went into to detail on survivor's guilt. I could only image that a lot of them went through this kind of guilt for a long time and maybe they still are having survivor's guilt. I also like all the pictures of the survivors and that also tells the story of it to.

  2. I was also interested in survivors guilt and what it was exactly. It makes sense that it's all about yourself at first, and then when you think about it, you worry about others. I think the right help is to volunteer and seek help. Volunteering is good because it makes you feel grateful for what you do have and you're helping others.

  3. I really liked your research topic i thought it was very informative and had a lot of detail. I can not imagine what it was like to go through what these people did. There were definitely a lot of emotions and a lot of roller coaster emotions throughout the entire war. These people were strong for themselves and for others. They had so much going on and never once did they think about themselves.


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